Going Native – A New Thanksgiving Tradition

“There have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks,’ even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.” – President Obama, November 25, 2014

Since my childhood, there has been a movement related to the shaming of white people as it relates to our National holidays.  Columbus day, for one, is now seen as a terrible tragedy that should not be celebrated.  Instead, we should all flog ourselves and feel bad that Columbus came to this continent and ruined the place for everyone.  Some want to change the holiday to “Indigenous Peoples Day” as a result of that movement.

Thanksgiving is no different.  Every year when this week rolls around you will see an inordinate amount of social media references to Native Americans, American Indians, or Tribal Peoples of the Americas, or however the PC gurus up in Seattle sitting around a bong have decided we should refer to this group of people this year.  On the surface, it seems completely understandable and many Americans occasionally feel those pangs of ancient guilt over what our ancestors did to the indigenous people of the New World.  I have, sure.  As someone with Native American blood running through their veins, I have also been known to point out certain problematic historical ideas related to the conquest of this remarkable land.  Now this argument has been used in the controversial debate on illegal immigration to our modern country.  Our borders are essentially non-existent and we are flooded every year by people who ignore the law and then live illegal lives at our expense.

Well, Okay, Mister President, you threw it out there (although I was already irritated by all the thanksgiving/native tribes memes posted to my Facebook page by Ed!) so let me respond in as scientific a fashion as I can.

in·dig·e·nous
inˈdijənəs/
adjective
adjective: indigenous
     1 – originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.
There are no indigenous peoples of the Americas.  The only way for that to be true would be if humankind originated in, let’s say, Ferguson, Missouri.  Judging by the lack of evolutionary processes that can be observed in recent events, I would have to say, in my scientific opinion, that life did not originate in Missouri.  In fact, the evolutionary process appears to be in retrograde in that region of the country at the moment.
Anthropologists and Archaeologists have long believed that the people we refer to as the American Indian (which is totally wrong, by the way) or Native Americans, came to this continent via a now long gone Bering Land Bridge that once connected North America to Northeast Asia.  This region is generally referred to as Beringia and existed as a result of lower sea levels during the Pleistocene Ice Ages.  Beringia, and the Bering Land Bridge between the continents, existed for thousands of years and is believed to have been populated by migrating peoples throughout its existence above sea level.  Since scientists know humans did not originate in Ferguson, Missouri, they were left with the only possible passage from Asia to the Americas and that led them to the Land Bridge theory of migration.  And, as we shall now learn, they were actually correct.  Yay, science!
Two recent studies on the DNA and genetics of the people we refer to as natives have proven the ancestry of these people to be a mixture of people from Eurasia.  Theodore Schurr, an anthropologist from the University of Pennsylvania, authored a study showing a direct link between America’s Tribes and the people of the Altai Mountains; a region where Russia, Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan meet.  This study was done by taking DNA samples from thousands of people on both continents and the shared genetics are not in dispute.
Another study, which deciphered the genome of an infant, the oldest genome ever studied from a sample in the Americas at approximately 13,000 years old, shed even more light on the subject.  This study, the a University in Denmark, was led by Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist.  That study showed ancestry of even this ancient genome to be a mixture of Eurasian and Asian contributions.  That study placed the direct ancestors to our American Tribes in the region of Siberia.  That’s right, Russians.  The damned Russians DID invade the United States but all you Red Dawn dreamers were only about 16,500 years too late.
Going even farther back, you will find that those same people were not indigenous to Siberia or the Altai Mountains either.  They arrived there from elsewhere.  In other words, they aren’t from the region we call the United States anymore than those pilgrims were, or Columbus, or the Vikings who beat Columbus here by a couple of hundred years.  America has no natives.
Granted, things didn’t work out so well for the American Tribes in the long run.  They occupied this territory for thousands of years before we silly Europeans arrived and they certainly got the short end of the stick in that interaction.  So, it is okay to feel bad about that.  Oddly enough, we hear about race relations between black and white on a daily basis – it is beaten into our heads by the race hustlers and poverty pimps who make their living by ensuring the racial divide remains in place – but we rarely hear about those wandering Siberians who survived the ice age, traveled thousands of miles, and finally came to rest in what we called the New World.
They were also immigrants, just as we were.  Their claim to this land is really no more valid than our own.  But, either way you look at it, that was a very long time ago; a time before borders and nations and disagreements that result in potential annihilation of entire cities and countries.  It was before a time of global terrorism and a narcotics trade that slowly murders, through addiction, entire generations of families.  No nation survives without protecting its borders in the modern world.  No nation will survive by allowing unhindered access to its resources.  America as I knew it as a child is already gone.  If you want the America you know NOW to also be gone, just follow the lead of your current President and open your doors, borders, windows, and gates and allow the flooding to continue.  Eventually, this will no longer be a country.  It will be a part of someone else’s country.  Good luck with that.
Now, stop posting stupid memes about how only the natives, which we don’t have here in the Americas, are the only ones who are allowed a beef over immigration.  Enjoy your thanksgiving.  Be thankful we still have a country.  Be thankful for the ever shrinking list of freedoms we enjoy.  Be thankful for those things.  Be thankful because your grandchildren may not have the same opportunity.
Ross

One thought on “Going Native – A New Thanksgiving Tradition

  1. Ross, I can find nothing to fault in your article. I’m Tlingit, and a veteran of the Alaska Army National Guard. Toward the end of my career my unit supported a humanitarian mission in Haiti, and certainly a hundred times a day I said to myself “Thank God I’m American!”, realizing that this privilege is a simple accident of birth. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I hadn’t once uttered the same about my Tlingit heritage. It’s not that I forgot who I was and where I’m from, I merely acknowledged that the United States had become a wonderful place to from. Not perfect, but certainly wonderful.

    FWIW, this larger concept is something that I’ve blogged about. I would love for your thoughts on it; http://www.mikekinville.com/?p=77

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